by Stephen Downes
Oct 05, 2016
Internet and is making education available to many more people these days
Stephen Downes, Jan 31, 2010.
January 2010 / By Eva Millet
The Chronicle interviews FutureLearn head Simon Nelson. The gist of the interview is, first, that universities have completely absorbed MOOCs, and second, that this is opening up international markets. "Universities are using MOOCs in a whole range of much more strategic ways. To teach their own students, to create pathways into their core programs, to work in different ways with employers and transform the way they offer training and development services to them, etcetera. I don’t see any of that narrowing the supply of free open courses to the world. Actually, I think it’s going to significantly expand it."
I've always felt that there is a huge learning opportunity here. "The nature of citizen science is changing; citizens aren’t simply used solely for data collection,” says Steven Gray, assistant professor of community sustainability at Michigan State University and the study’s lead author. “They are designing the protocols, conducting the experiments, securing funding, and implementing the plans. They may not have the credentials of scientists, but they have the capacity to engage in the same approaches.”
Coursera is now - and a bit surprisingly - drawing on volunteer labour. "Coursera Mentors are learners who volunteer to provide academic support in courses they’ve already completed on Coursera. To be eligible to be a Mentor, a learner must have passed the course with a good grade and an exemplary forum participation record. Mentors also complete a 2-week training course that covers best practices..." You can see some of them here.
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